Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS5678600 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/479,712
Publication dateOct 21, 1997
Filing dateJun 7, 1995
Priority dateJun 7, 1995
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number08479712, 479712, US 5678600 A, US 5678600A, US-A-5678600, US5678600 A, US5678600A
InventorsRandal D. Locke, Daniel P. Dunbar, Teresa M. Locke
Original AssigneeLocke; Randal D., Dunbar; Daniel P., Locke; Teresa M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Filling valve
US 5678600 A
Abstract
A multi-purpose automatic filing basin is provided for containing a selected amount of water which is used for various purposes. The water may be transferred from the basin by wicks or by a pump to water using devices such as plant pots or toys or may be provided for direct use from the basin for devices such as animal feeders and habitats. The basis is kept supplied with water from a pressurized source by a specialized valve which opens in response to a drop in water level below a first selected level and closes in response to the water level reaching as second selected level.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(9)
We claim:
1. In an adjustable diaphragm fill valve adapted for use in an automatic filling and liquid level regulating device which comprises a basin having a liquid inlet port in the bottom thereof for receiving a liquid under pressure from a source thereof, for holding a volume of the liquid therein and for dispensing the liquid therefrom at ambient pressure, which device also has means for mounting the valve on the basin and sealing means for providing a liquid and gas tight seal between the valve and the basin, which valve comprises water level adjustment means in mechanical connection with means positioned in the upper portion of the interior cavity of the valve which reciprocally urges the valve into its closed position, in response to the weight of liquid in the basin above the diaphragm when the valve is mounted therein and the liquid in the basin is at a preselected liquid level, and into its open position, in response to a drop in the level of the liquid in the basin below the selected liquid level; a liquid inlet port in liquid communication with the inlet port of the basin; a liquid out port providing liquid communication between the lower portion of the valve cavity and the interior of the basin for dispensing liquid from the fill valve into the basin when the valve is in its open position; and a gas inlet port in gas communication with ambient air for maintaining the diaphragm of the fill valve at ambient air pressure, the improvement wherein:
(a) the valve is adapted to fit completely within the interior of a basin having, as the means for mounting thereon, a valve mounting seat positioned on the interior surface of the bottom of the basin;
(b) the liquid and gas inlet ports of the valve are both positioned above the seal formed between the valve and the basin when the former is mounted on the latter;
(c) the bottom of the valve comprises a flat surfaced mounting means for interiorly mounting the valve onto the mounting seat of the basin and, cooperatively, with the valve seating means of the basin, forming a liquid-tight and gas-tight seal between the valve and the basin when the former is mounted on the latter;
(d) the liquid inlet port in positioned in the center of the bottom of the valve and is adapted to provide liquid communication to the valve with the liquid under pressure after it has passed through the inlet port of the basin and the basin is connected to the source thereof;
(e) the gas inlet port of the valve is positioned in the bottom of the valve, axially ofset between the hole in the center of the bottom of the valve and the circumference thereof.
2. The valve of claim 1, adapted to be mountable onto the basin and friction sealed thereto digitally.
3. The valve of claim 1, wherein the mounting means comprises protuberances adapted to lock the valve onto the basin.
4. The valve of claim 3, wherein the protuberances are annular retention tabs which are adapted to provide cam action compression within the means for mounting the valve on the mounting seat of the basin when the valve is mounted on the basin.
5. The valve of claim 4, wherein the forward, relative to the mounting direction, end of the retention tabs is thinner and the rearward end thereof is thicker and the retention tabs, in cooperation with the valve mounting seat positioned on the interior surface of the bottom of the basin, produce a compressing cam action which seals the valve to the valve mounting seat when the valve is mounted thereon.
6. The valve of claim 5, wherein the flat surfaced mounting means of the valve is circular and he valve is adapted for mounting and dismounting on the basin digitally in a single rotary motion.
7. The valve of claim 6, wherein the retention tabs are elongaged circumferentially wider portions of the circular valve mounting means.
8. The valve of claim 1, wherein the valve has a low vertical profile so that the upper surface thereof is positioned below the preselected water level of the basin in which it is mounted and thus leave most of interior of the basin vertically unobstructed and therefore free to mount a water using attachment deeply into the interior thereof.
9. The valve of claim 1, adapted to be mountable onto the basin and friction sealed thereto digitally and wherein the mounting means comprises protuberances adapted to lock the valve onto the basin; wherein the protuberances are annular retention tabs which are adapted to provide cam action compression within the means for mounting the valve on the mounting seat of the basin when the valve is mounted on the basin; wherein the forward, relative to the mounting direction, end of the retention tabs is thinner and the rearward end thereof is thicker and the retention tabs, in cooperation with the valve mounting seat positioned on the interior surface of the bottom of the basin, produce a compressing cam action which seals the valve to the valve mounting seat when the valve is mounted thereon; wherein the flat surfaced mounting means of the valve is circular and is adapted for mounting and dismounting on the basin digitally in a single rotary motion; wherein the retention tabs are elongaged circumferentially wider portions of the circular valve mounting means; and wherein the valve has a low vertical profile so that the upper surface thereof is positioned below the preselected water level of the basin in which it is mounted and thus leave most of interior of the basin vertically unobstructed by the valve and therefore free to mount a water using attachment deeply into the interior thereof.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/488,289 titled Multi-Purpose Automatic Filling and Leveling Fluid Basin and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/488,292 titled Milti-Purpose Automatic Filling and Leveling Fluid Basin With Water Transfer, filed in the names of the same inventors as this application on even date.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a filling valve and more particularly to a filling valve which cooperates with a source of pressurized liquid such as water to fill a basin.

BACKGROUND ART

In its preferred embodiment, the present invention incorporates a number of improvements to a fluid diaphragm valve used for toilets, described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606 and incorporated herein by reference.

A reliably repeatable self-leveling fluid valve that is also compact, inexpensive to manufacture and impervious to typical environmental forces, is needed in the so-called `self watering` or `automatic` growing containers for plants. The following eighteen patents allegedly describe some form of `self watering` or `automatic` growing container for plants:

______________________________________3,733,746  Allen Jr.           May 22, 1973                      Self Feeding Flower Pot3,758,987  Crane Jr.           Sep. 18, 1973                      Automatic Plant Watering                      Device3,775,904  Peters   Dec. 4, 1973                      Self-Watering Flower Pot3,783,555  Peters   Jan. 8, 1974                      Self-Watering Flower Pot3,871,131  Berglund Mar. 18, 1975                      Self-Watering Plant Pots or                      Receptacles3,903,644  Swift    Sep. 9, 1975                      Self-Watering Planter and                      Method of Making4,052,818  Hagerty  Oct. 11, 1977                      Method and Apparatus for                      Containerizing Plants with a                      Self-Watering System4,148,155  Allen    Apr. 10, 1979                      System and Apparatus for                      Automatically Feeding4,183,175  Magee    Jan. 15, 1980                      Self-Watering Apparatus for                      Growing Plants4,198,784  Sukes    Apr. 22, 1980                      Vessel for Supporting and                      Automatically Providing Liquid                      to Vegetation4,324,070  Swister  Apr. 13, 1982                      Self-Watering Planter4,329,815  Secrest  May 18, 1982                      Self Controlled Watering Planter                      Device4,344,251  Edlung   Aug. 17, 1982                      Self-Irrigating Pot for Plants4,356,665  de Oliveos           Nov. 2, 1982                      Self-Watering Planter4,527,354  Sellen   Jul. 9, 1985                      Implantable Reservoir for                      Automatic Watering4,937,972  Freitus  Jul. 3, 1990                      Self-Contained Plant Growth                      System5,020,261  Lishman  Jun. 4, 1991                      Moisture Sensitive Self-                      Watering Planter5,341,596  Kao      Aug. 30, 1994                      Automatic Water Supply Device                      for Potted Plants______________________________________

In fact, these containers are neither self-watering nor automatic because they require human refilling of the reservoir.

Three issued patents that are also true automatic plant pots are:

______________________________________4,083,147  Garack   Apr. 11, 1978                      Automated Planter Box System4,546,571  Scrivens Oct. 15, 1985                      Plant Watering Apparatus4,557,071  Fah      Dec. 10, 1985                      Automatic Watering and                      Feeding System for Plants______________________________________

There is a need for a fill valve which is adapted for use in combination with a water reservoir which converts the reservoir into a self-filling and self-leveling fluid basin which can perform a number of functions and cooperates with various other structures, including, but not limited to a plant pot converter, an animal water feeder, an underground spring, a bird bath, a humming bird feeder, an amphibian habitat, an animal/bird cage, a plant pot and a water toy, all as disclosed in the above-identified concurrently filed applications, whose disclosures are incorporated herein by reference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a fill valve for filling a basin having a bottom with an inlet opening, an inner surface and an outer surface. The fill valve is a modification of an adjustable diaphragm fill valve (Johnson, U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606) which is extensively used commercially in toilet water reservoirs and which comprises, like the valve of this invention, water level adjustment means in mechanical connection with means positioned in the upper portion of the interior cavity of the valve which reciprocally urges the valve into its closed position, in response to the weight of liquid in the basin above the diaphragm when the valve is mounted therein and the liquid in the water reservoir is at a preselected liquid level, and into its open position, in response to a drop in the level of the liquid in the water reservoir below the preselected liquid level; a liquid inlet port in liquid communication with the inlet port of the water reservoir; a liquid outlet port providing liquid communication between the lower portion of the valve cavity and the interior of the water reservoir for dispensing liquid from the fill valve into the water reservoir when the valve is in its open position; and a gas inlet port in gas communication with ambient air for maintaining the diaphragm of the fill valve at ambient air pressure.

The fill valve of this invention differs from the commercially available Johnson valve inter alia by:

(a) the valve being adapted to fit completely within the interior of a water basin having, as the means for mounting thereon, a valve mounting seat positioned on the interior surface of the bottom of the basin;

(b) the liquid and gas inlet ports of the valve being both positioned above the seal formed between the valve and the basin when the former is mounted on the latter;

(c) the bottom of the valve comprising a flat surfaced mounting means for interiorly mounting the valve onto the mounting seat of the basin and, cooperatively, with the valve seating means of the basin, forming the liquid-tight and gas-tight seal between the valve and the basin when the former is mounted on the latter;

(d) the liquid inlet port being positioned in the center of the bottom of the valve and is adapted to provide liquid communication to the valve with the liquid under pressure after it has passed through the inlet port of the basin and the basin is connected to the source thereof;

(e) the gas inlet port of the valve being position in the bottom of the valve, axially ofset between the hole in the center of the bottom of the valve and the circumference thereof. Like the commercial version of the Johnson valve, the fill valve of this invention preferably includes a flow impedance path including a compact array of baffles defining multiple consecutive turns for dissipating fluid pressure without substantial velocity increases in consequent cavitation and noise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an oblique top view of the basin body prior to fusing of the utility bracket.

FIG. 2 is an oblique top view of the utility bracket before fusing to the basin body shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an oblique bottom view of the basin body and utility bracket fused together.

FIG. 4 is an oblique top view of the basin in its preferred embodiment with fittings.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the basin interior and structure with accessories as shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a combined sectional view of the basin components and valve as shown in FIG. 5. This is a false view with critical components shown along the same plane to demonstrate clearances for attachments.

FIG. 7 is an exploded oblique view of the valve base, air and fluid gaskets, valve mounting flange, and basin insertion plugs as shown in FIGS. 5 & 6.

FIG. 8 is an oblique top view of the gardener attached to the basin shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is an oblique exploded view of the valve 14 and its adjusting screw that fits in the basin 10.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The Filling Valve of this invention is adapted for use as the valve in a Multi-purpose Automatic Filling and Leveling Fluid Basin as claimed in the concurrently filed copending applications identified above, which is a fluid holding vessel called the basin 10 which can be of any size or shape and will in most cases be produced by injection molding using plastics. The basin accepts within it a readily detachable adjustable fill valve 14 that is connected to a pressurized water or other fluid supply 58. The valve fills and maintains the level of fluid in the vessel which can be selected and adjusted by the user.

The basin 10 is composed of two primary components ultrasonically welded together to form a water and air tight one piece unit. These components are called the basin body 16 and the air/fluid utility bracket or utility bracket 12. In addition to these fused parts are; the twist-in compression cam 108 equipped automatic filling and leveling diaphragm valve 14; a silicone air isolating gasket 96 and a matching fluid isolating gasket 98 that seal the areas between the valve 14 and the basin body 16, a small plastic snorkle cap 24, the insert x thread fittings 46 that fit the external fluid line port 18 and external drain line port 38, and the optional punch-in basin drain screen 120.

The utility bracket 12, when fused to the basin body 16, performs three functions:

Fluid (preferably filtered) is delivered from any pressurized source through a standard 1/8 inch (inside diameter) fluid delivery line 56 (commonly referred to as drip irrigation line) connected to an optional existing quick disconnect fittings 50 and 54 and then connected directly or with additional fluid delivery line to the insert x thread barbed fitting 46 that threads into the utility bracket 12 in its external fluid line port 18. Attachment of the fluid delivery line 56 is facilitated by the space for thumb and fingers created by the utility access cutouts 69 just above the said barbed fitting. The optional spring clamp 48 can be used to secure the fluid delivery line 56 to the insert x thread fitting 46. The fluid flows through the fluid supply channel 20 and through the internal fluid port 22 on the bottom of the basin 10 and into the valve 14.

Ambient air for operation of the diaphragm valve 14 flows under the snorkle cap 24 down through the basin snorkle body 26 which is supported by the basin snorkle support rib 28, past the utility snorkle debris trap 30, around the utility snorkle 32, down into the utility air channel 34, then through the air channel then up through the bottom of the basin 10, through the internal air port 36, into the air trough 92, into the valve base air port 106 and into the underside of the diaphragm in the valve 14. The snorkle cap 24 keeps debris from the attachments or other sources from entering the basin snorkle body 26 and also acts as a `diving bell` flood protection device. Should the basin 10 be in an environment where external water elevates past the bottom edge of the basin vent/latch ports 70 and over the snorkle cap 24 the snorkle cap prevents entry of water into the interior of the snorkle assembly as a result of its lower edge being below the upper edge of the basin snorkle body 26. The basin 10, with or without attachments can endure a true flood (if attached to a surface using the basin hold-down tabs 68 or otherwise held in place) and when no longer flooded will return to normal operation without failure including during the flood itself when the valve 14 shuts itself off. The snorkle cap 26 is ribbed on its interior surfaces to create secure multiple open vent grooves when pushed onto the basin snorkle body 26. Locating the snorkle assembly inside the basin 10 prevents accidental damage and prevents fouling by mud, soil, water, insects, and other debris that could occur if ported anywhere external to the basin 10.

Fluid is drained from the basin 10 by removing the tear out drain line tab 44, in the interior bottom edge of the basin and inserting the optional basin drain screen 120 into the internal basin drain line port 42 opened by said removed tear out tab and exposing the internal utility drain line port 40 that accepts the drain screen. By connecting a 1/8 inch drain discharge line 60 to a insert x thread fitting 46 threaded into the external drain line port 38 the user may drain the basin and can attach a standard drain regulating valve 62 to control drain flow rates based on the attachment used and the requirements or desires of the user.

The utility bracket 12 is a uniform thickness throughout its entirety with two exceptions; the utility snorkle 32 walls can be thinner as they are protected by the basin snorkle body 26 and the areas immediately above the external fluid line port 18 and the external drain line port 38 which are small, thick pockets of material created as a result of injection mold release requirements. When ultrasonically fused the basin body 16 and the utility bracket 12 fit together and create completely isolated seals around each of the three functional areas listed above.

After ultrasonic welding, the utility bracket 12 also finishes the basin feet 64 and completes the `footprint` of the basin 10 as well as strengthening the basin bottom in the area where the basin ribs 66 are absent. For ease of storage and shipping the basin 10 stacks and nests at approximately 3/5ths of its own height by sitting on the basin stacking supports 76 all four of which surround the interior of the basin at approximately 90 degree increments. The top of the basin snorkle body 26 nests inside the hollow interior of the utility snorkle 32 above it. The scalloped bottom edge of the basin 10 is aligned so as to nest over and next to the basin stacking supports 76 with their mutual corner radii and thereby `lock` the basin into place which prevents shifting and protects the basin snorkle body 26 and related assembly during storage, shipping and handling.

After installing the fluid isolating gasket 96 in the fluid gasket trough 88, and the air isolating gasket 98 in the air gasket trough 90, the valve 14 twists into the valve mounting flange 80 by slipping down past the retention tabs 82, (2 each opposing) and twisting 90 degrees until the retention tab compression cams 84 (2 each opposing) and the valve base 100 and the valve base compression cams 108 (2 each opposing) engage forcing the valve downward until the retention tab stops 86 (2 each opposing) stop the valve. The twisting downward motion during valve 14 insertion, compresses the larger diameter air isolating gasket 98 and the smaller diameter liquid isolating gasket 96 downward and outward into the four gasket retention rings 94 that border both sides of both said gaskets and between which is created the air trough 92 which is an isolated encircling trough allowing ambient air portage even in the event of incomplete insertion or incorrect positioning of the valve. Valve base seating beads 101 are molded in relief on the underside of the valve base 100 surrounding the valve base fluid port 104 and enclosing within the outer circumferal bead the valve base air port 106. The said seating beads further compress the center of the surrounding said gaskets enhancing the sealing function and preventing the escape of pressurized water or leakage in the ambient air system. Due to the central axis location of the internal fluid port 22 and the opposing valve base fluid port 104 the delivery of fluid is un-affected by valve 14 position. The valve 14 will operate when installed in either of the two possible insertion positions, however four of the attachments for the basin 10 require the valve be in its preferred position which is facing the utility or `back` wall of the basin and fully stopped by the retention tab stops 86. This allows the said four attachments to utilize all of the available space in the basin 10 by having the attachment `hug` the basins interior walls and floor and wrap around the valve 14 and the basin snorkle body 26 assembly

To function automatically, the basin 10 (with valve 14 installed) must be connected to a pressurized fluid line between 5 psi and 80 psi and with fluid near or at the consistency of water and of a non-corrosive character. The user may adjust the level of the fluid in the basin 10 by use of the valve adjusting screw 15 located on the top of the valve 14. Minimum fluid level is at the top edge of the adjusting screw 15. The maximum fluid level is established by the user and the attachments connected to the base 10, but is always below the basin vent/latch ports 70 of the basin 10. The user may monitor the fluid level in the basin 10 by using the fluid level sight glass 78 on the `front` wall of the basin. The basin 10 and all of its attachments operate at the minimum fluid level, thus allowing the user (or environmental forces) to tilt the basin ten degrees or less without spilling fluid. The valve 14 and its fluid level control performance is unaffected by said tilt or tilting.

To function manually, the basin 14 requires the manual operation insertion plug 110 be twisted by hand (after intallation of the fluid and air isolating gaskets 96 and 98) using the manual operation insertion plug finger key 112 molded on the top of said plug. The manual operation insertion plug 110 is identical in shape to the valve base 100 and like the valve base has opposing manual operation insertion plug cams 114. When installed into the valve mounting flange 80 the said insertion plug seals the internal fluid port 22 and the internal air port 36 and turns the basin 10 into a reservoir that must be filled by the user using the detachable optional basin funnel 147 that slips through any of the available basin vent/latch ports 70.

To function in series, a `controlling` basin 10 with valve 14 installed is connected to a series of additional `passive` basins that have multiple basin insertion plugs 116 installed in their valve mounting flanges 80 and are all on the same level serface as the controlling basin. The controlling basin 10 in connected to a constant fluid supply 58 and must have the basin drain screen 120 installed and the drain discharge line 60 connected to the insert x thread fitting 46 threaded into the external drain line port 38 and connected to the external fluid line port 18 of the first `passive` basin of the series. Fluid, controlled by the controlling basin 10, ports water through the center of the multiple basin insertion plug fluid port 118 in the `passive` basin. That passive basin in turn may have the drain discharge line 60 activated and connected in turn to additional `passive` basins in series.

The valve of the present invention shown in FIG. 9 is a modification of a valve originally conceived of and designed for use in toilets by Dwight N. Johnson of California. (Latest U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606, Dec. 23, 1980) incorporated herein by reference. This valve is currently being manufactured under the name FILLpro Toilet Tank Fill Valve and according to the manufacturer (Delta/Peerless Faucet Corp.) over nine million of the valves have been distributed worldwide since its inception. The mode of attachment of the valve of FIG. 9 must be completely redesigned and the adjusting screw and spring must be shortened to fit and operate with the present invention. No modifications to the valve body itself as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606 nor to its mechanism have been made, so the functionality of the valve is unaffected.

Specially modified versions of the FILLpro valves have been operating continuously in test units that mimic the present invention in all of its embodiments. The test have shown that both the anti-siphon and the standard models of the FILLpro valve are capable of reliable, long term, regulated flow rates as low as one drop per minute. Its inherent nature as a toilet valve, (requiring appropriate flow rates) means the valve is also able to respond quickly when needed with outstanding flow performance, plus the valve is extremely quiet. The valve functions effectively at any angle up to 30 degrees on any axis and is able to maintain a water level less than 12 millimeters above its own body (or fill a vessel many feet over its own body) and to do so repeatedly (for years) with excellent accuracy.

The test valves have been disassembled and re-assembled repeatedly with no change in performance and all of their pars are replaceable. They have been beaten, kicked, left in open vessels through months of storms and collected debris; covered with algae; buried in mulch, dirt and sand; been frozen dry out of the package and then been frozen with water inside the valve in empty vessels. It was only when the valve was frozen full of water in a vessel full of water that it ended up as a wounded valve, and that wound was only the adjusting screw female thread in the valve body being ripped out by the pressure, the rest of the valve was fine.

The patent of Dwight N. Johnson (numbered U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606 and describing the Fill Valve) is incorporated into this disclosure with the following modifications.

Fluid is delivered to the valve by the means and method disclosed in this application in the Description of the Preferred Embodiment of the Invention; paragraph three.

Ambient air as required by the valve is provided by the means and method disclosed in this application in the description of the Preferred Embodiment of the Invention; paragraph four.

Connection and operation of the valve and the means and method thereof are disclosed in the Description of the Preferred Embodiment of the Invention; paragraphs eight and nine.

The physical changes to the valve from U.S. Pat. No. 4,240,606 are illustrated in FIGS. 4, 6, 7 and 9 of this specification and consist of two particular changes. First, the adjusting screw as disclosed by the Johnson patent and labeled in that patent as Reference Number 148, must have the un-threaded portion of its shank (Ref. #156 of Johnson) entirely removed, which shortens said screw to half its original height and allows the present invention to stack and nest with the valve installed and also increases the available area for the attachments to the present invention. The spring (Ref. #144 of Johnson) for the screw (Ref. #148 of Johnson) must be replaced with a smaller lighter spring appropriate to the requirements of the shallow fluid levels used by the present invention. Second, the valve attachment assembly and its related hard ware (best shown in the Johnson patent in FIG. 3) must be removed completely up to the line just above the Section Line 3, which is just below the base of the valve. Removing said portion of the valve leaves a flat base with a large hole in its center and two very small square holes side by side straddling the center line of the valve and projecting up and into the underside of the valve diaphragm assembly. This now flat, circular base 100 would have one if not two compression beads 107 molded into the base as well as the valve base compression cam 108 flanges, both shown in FIG. 7 with a side view shown in FIG. 6.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS

10 Basin (complete)

12 Utility bracket

13 Adjusting screw spring

14 Valve

15 Valve adjusting screw

16 Basin body (without utility bracket)

18 External fluid line port

20 Fluid supply channel

22 Internal fluid port

24 Snorkle cap

26 Basin snorkle body

28 Basin snorkle support rib

30 Utility snorkle debris trap

32 Utility snorkle

34 Utility air channel

36 Internal air port

38 External drain line port

40 Internal utility drain line port

42 Internal basin drain line port

44 Tear out drain line tab

46 Insert x thread fittings

48 Spring clamp

50 Quick disconnect fitting

54 Quick disconnect with auto shut off

56 Fluid delivery line

58 Fluid supply

60 Drain discharge line

62 Drain regulating valve

64 Basin feet

66 Basin feet/bottom reinforcing ribs

68 Basin hold-down tabs

69 Utility access cutouts

70 Basin vent/latch ports

72 Basin rim

74 Attachment seating rim

76 Basin stacking support

78 Fluid level sight glass

80 Valve mounting flange

82 Retention tabs

84 Retention tab compression cam

86 Retention tab stop

88 Fluid gasket trough

90 Air gasket trough

92 Air trough

94 Gasket retention rings

96 Fluid isolating gasket

98 Air isolating gasket

100 Valve base

101 Valve base seating beads

104 Valve base fluid port

106 Valve base air port

108 Valve base compression cam

110 Manual operation insertion plug

112 Manual operation insertion plug finger key

114 Manual operation insertion plug cam

116 Multiple basin insertion plug

118 Multiple basin insertion plug fluid port

120 Basin drain screen

122 Square basin

124 Rectangular basin

126 Doughnut basin

128 Semi-circle basin

130 Corner basin

132 Heater

134 Heater male electrical terminals

136 Heater plug and cord

138 Submersible fluid pump

140 Pump water outlet

142 Fluid pump male electrical terminals

144 Pump plug and cord

146 Pump mounting tabs

280 Tree

282 Soil

462 Gardener attachment

464 Gardener seating rim

466 Gardener bottom rim vent slots

468 Gardener top rim

470 Hanger keys

482 Areating root pruners-wall

483 Areating root pruners-column

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3455055 *Dec 9, 1966Jul 15, 1969Chute Challoner RPlant receptacle
US3596809 *Jun 18, 1969Aug 3, 1971Perlick Co Inc TheKeg-tapping device
US3610478 *Apr 28, 1969Oct 5, 1971Johnston Mack STapping device for beer kegs and the like
US3733746 *Jul 29, 1971May 22, 1973Allen WSelf feeding flower pot
US3758987 *Jul 5, 1972Sep 18, 1973Crane WAutomatic plant watering device
US3775904 *Jul 6, 1971Dec 4, 1973Universal Prod Dev CorpSelf-watering flower pot
US3783555 *Jan 3, 1972Jan 8, 1974Universal Prod Dev CorpSelf-watering flower pot
US3871131 *Dec 26, 1973Mar 18, 1975Husqvarna Brostfabrik AbSelf-watering plant pots or receptacles
US3903644 *May 21, 1973Sep 9, 1975June H SwiftSelf-watering planter and method of making same
US4052818 *Jul 6, 1976Oct 11, 1977Hagerty Mary LMethod and apparatus for containerizing plants with a self-watering system
US4065095 *Sep 1, 1976Dec 27, 1977Johnson Dwight NFluid level control valve
US4083147 *Nov 15, 1976Apr 11, 1978Laurence James GarrickAutomated planter box system
US4094327 *Feb 7, 1977Jun 13, 1978Brandelli Anthony RFluid control device
US4100699 *Jul 12, 1976Jul 18, 1978Margaret R. Skaife, TrusteeAerated continuously watered plant and seed organic growing medium and container for same
US4148155 *Jul 29, 1977Apr 10, 1979Allen Donavan JSystem and apparatus for automatically feeding plants
US4159102 *Sep 28, 1977Jun 26, 1979Draft Systems, Inc.Locking mechanism for coupler and valve assembly
US4180096 *Jun 23, 1977Dec 25, 1979J. H. Industries, Inc.Fill valve
US4183175 *Nov 3, 1976Jan 15, 1980Magee Bervin WSelf-watering apparatus for growing plants
US4198784 *May 22, 1978Apr 22, 1980Sukert Haven LVessel for supporting and automatically providing liquid to vegetation
US4240606 *Jun 12, 1979Dec 23, 1980Jh Industries, Inc.Fill valve
US4292996 *Oct 24, 1979Oct 6, 1981Omuv Orvosi Muszer Es Vasipari SzovetkezetStop valve
US4299054 *Jul 20, 1979Nov 10, 1981Ware R LouisHydroponic assembly and wafer for use therein
US4324070 *Apr 24, 1980Apr 13, 1982Swisher Carolyn LSelf-watering planter
US4329815 *Nov 7, 1980May 18, 1982Planter Technology Investments LimitedSelf controlled watering planter device
US4344251 *Jan 23, 1981Aug 17, 1982The Board Of Regents Of The University Of NebraskaSelf-irrigating pot for plants
US4356665 *May 18, 1981Nov 2, 1982Oliveira Nenzito C DeSelf-watering planter
US4369598 *Mar 19, 1981Jan 25, 1983Beckwith Thomas FContainer element combination for seed sprouting or plant culture
US4510712 *May 17, 1982Apr 16, 1985Board Of Regents For The Oklahoma Agriculture And Mechanical Colleges Acting For And In Behalf Of Oklahoma State UniversityAir-root-pruning container
US4527354 *Aug 5, 1983Jul 9, 1985Michel SellierImplantable reservoir for automatic watering of plants
US4546571 *Feb 24, 1983Oct 15, 1985Scrivens Stephen JPlant watering apparatus
US4557071 *Jun 6, 1984Dec 10, 1985Fah Ah NAutomatic watering and feeding system for plants
US4790349 *Apr 4, 1988Dec 13, 1988Stant Inc.Tank pressure control system
US4829709 *Nov 4, 1987May 16, 1989Rocco CentafantiSelf-watering flower pot
US4887635 *Apr 3, 1989Dec 19, 1989Masco Corporation Of IndianaFluid fill valve with accurate fill level mechanism
US4937972 *Mar 16, 1989Jul 3, 1990Freitus Joseph PSelf-contained plant growth system
US4945944 *Jun 28, 1989Aug 7, 1990Chen Shu YuanFill valve for toliet tanks
US5020261 *Dec 15, 1988Jun 4, 1991Lishman Fred WMoisture sensitive self-watering planter
US5069243 *Feb 3, 1989Dec 3, 1991Euro Iseki LimitedLiquid level control system
US5341596 *Mar 30, 1993Aug 30, 1994Kao Hsin LinAutomatic water supply device for potted plants
US5412907 *Sep 19, 1994May 9, 1995Anderson; George C.Deep, free-standing, convertibly subdivided, plant container assembly
CH673076A5 * Title not available
GB2095083A * Title not available
NO109632A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5937574 *May 16, 1997Aug 17, 1999Jacques; David R.Apparatus and method for supplying liquid to a tree stand
US6079951 *Dec 9, 1998Jun 27, 2000P.H. Morton Co., Inc.Bird bath fountain
US6102067 *Jun 5, 1997Aug 15, 2000Orlando; Mark A.Bifurcated fill valve assembly
US6729070 *Jul 2, 1999May 4, 2004Randal D. A. LockeCombination of container for growing plants and aerating root pruner
US6792891Aug 26, 2003Sep 21, 2004Joseph David CoburnHummingbird feeder
US6814266 *Jun 21, 2002Nov 9, 2004Claber S.P.A.Device for the distribution of water into vases or similar
US6886589 *Nov 27, 2001May 3, 2005Autogrow Pty Ltd.Float valve
US8528252 *Aug 13, 2009Sep 10, 2013Arthur Francis GriebelSelf watering plant system
CN102357010BSep 4, 2011Apr 24, 2013李万红Self-sealing water inlet valve of bag water machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/414, 137/587, 137/453
International ClassificationA01G27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01G27/00
European ClassificationA01G27/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 20, 2005FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20051021
Oct 21, 2005LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
May 12, 2005REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Apr 17, 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4